This immediately follows Mav and John after the between the prompt post of “Phonebook” (posted yesterday), in case you want to read it in order. If you want to start from the very beginning, you can read all but this post at Mav’s Story.
* * *
I inhaled, ready to launch into my prepared speech. “Dan-“
“You’ve reached Daniel Lee, Attorney for the Reisling Corporation. Please leave a message.”
The ten seconds between his “hello” and the beep short circuited my brain, and my mind went blank.
“Um. Hi. It’s Madison. Are you there?” I stalled, waiting for the words to return before my ninety seconds of allotted time ended.
Movement caught my eye. John straightened from where he’d been leaning against the sink, his body poised to swoop in and eliminate the breathing room I’d asked for.
It lit the proverbial fire under my ass, and the words just tumbled out.
“Okay, you either aren’t home or you’re sleeping off jet lag and you’ve always said you hate it when I hedge so here it is. I’m having what a life crisis. I’ve been pretending for years to be this poised and perfect woman, but I’m fucked up inside. Life is too damn short to waste it being a stranger to myself.”
The truth in my words startled me, and once the floodgate cracked open I couldn’t stop.
“I went to a funeral last week when you were in Hong Kong. I didn’t want to say anything, but-“ I glanced at John, “It was for John and it messed me up. Then Amanda’s dad got sick….”
I crossed my fingers on my left hand as I spoke, regretting the lie. “I need time away from everything and everyone so I can discover who I am. I can’t-“ I took another deep breath. “I can’t be with you, Danny. It wouldn’t be right. I don’t…. I don’t love you. I don’t want to hurt you either, but if we stayed together, I would.”
The knot of guilt untied itself from my gut. I picked up the pace, knowing my time was almost up.
“It’s not your fault, it’s mine. I had my heart broken years before I met you and I never let it heal. I let anger take control. I know you probably want to argue your case, but you can’t. Until I put myself back together, I have nothing to give.”
I blinked, trying not to cry. “Don’t call me. I lost my cell and don’t plan on replacing it. I need time without any interruptions. Even Amanda won’t know how to reach me. Good-bye.”
I flipped the phone closed before bursting into tears.
“Shut. Up. Just shut the fuck up and I’ll make the last call,” I said between sobs.
He moved toward me, leaving the kitchen.
“No! Stay away! This is your fault!”
“I know.” His voice was almost a whisper.
“No you don’t, John!” My fury silenced the sobs. “Even I didn’t realize it until now. You broke me. You fucking broke me and turned me into my father!”
“Don’t fucking “Mav” me and let me finish.”
His lips tightened and he nodded.
“I tried to love Danny, but you were always in my head, reminding me how much it fucking hurt to have your heart stabbed. I couldn’t risk it again.”
“Can I speak?”
“No! Do you have any fucking clue what it did to me when you disappeared without a good-bye? You found the appointment card, but you felt I owed you an explanation? Don’t you think you owed me the fucking courtesy to ask me about it or at least tell me good-bye?”
“I’ve known since my mother’s 46th birthday where my father kept his gun. You’d been gone a month without a word and I wanted to die.”
* * *
This week we’d like you to explore romantic heartbreak. For you fiction writers, here’s a chance to really delve into the psyche of your character. For you non-fiction folk, well, maybe it’s into your psyche you must delve. We all remember that first love, just like we all remember when our hearts broke for the first time.
Write a piece – 600 word limit – about the first heartbreak your character or you experienced.
* * *
This piece immediately follows “Phonebook”.
Concrit is welcomed as always.
I apologize if there are typos – I’m too tired to correct them tonight.